Monday, October 23rd, 2017
After I graduated from college, I spent the next two years in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. During that time, and for another five years in Chicago after graduation, my closest and constant friend was Mike Engber, a fellow graduate student in computer science. Mike and I shared in various endeavors outside of school, some (in hindsight) more questionable than others. One of those endeavors (and this is not one of the questionable ones) involved the purchase of 200 music CDs from various artists at the rock-bottom price of 25¢ per disc. Mike had a friend that worked at a local radio station and was trying to get rid of the enormous heap of demo CDs that had been sent to them by aspiring artists. So, we each chipped in $25 and came away with 100 CDs for each of us.
Over the next few months, I listened to each one of them, or more accurately, as much of each one as I could tolerate before moving on to the next one. The vast majority of them were very bad; the remainder of them were just `regular` bad. The one shining exception to this was an album named Deliverance by a young Jonathan Butler. Fast forward 30 years and 25 albums later, and Butler remains in my regular musical rotation.
If you'll recall from my last post, this is where we left off:
The last vestiges of my non-Hodgkin lymphoma remain unchecked. The doctors at NIH outlined two general approaches to this situation:Johns Hopkins soon to discuss what the latter options might be. We'll keep you informed about what is discussed.
Two weeks ago, we met with my oncologist at Johns Hopkins to discuss the options in question. Much to our surprise, he told us that my lymphoma is officially in remission (the "R" word) and so no treatment is needed at this time. Ignoring the question of why this hadn't been mentioned to us previously, the million dollar question is how long that remission will last. To quote the doctor: "It could last a month, or a year, or perhaps longer. We have no way at all to predict that." In the meantime, we will monitor my blood work every two weeks and visit the oncologist every four weeks, in the hope of catching any relapse sooner rather than later.
No matter how short or long the remission period might be, and what treatment we pursue once it does, one thing is clear: odds are strong that I will not be walking this planet at a ripe old age. To that end, Alison and I have chosen to slip into what I refer to as our early, temporary semi-retirement:
How will we passing the time in our semi-retirement? We'll tell you next time.
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